Today’s contribution is from regular Joe Dickinson, who lives in Santa Cruz, California (a lovely town!). His notes and IDs are indented:
Here is a set of photos from my recent morning walks with my dog, always maintaining social distance when encountering other walkers (well, I do even if my dog doesn’t). Most are by Aptos Creek, a few miles down the coast from Santa Cruz and about a mile from my house. I’ve fleshed out the set with some flowers from my yard.
This is not my best photo of a great egret (Ardea alba), but I like the gold background (reflected sunrise).
This preening black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) is nicely posed in a way that shows off the white plume and red eye.
I don’t often see Canada geese (Branta canadensis) here, but if you see one you are almost certain to see a pair.
I see (or hear) belted kingfishers (Megaceryle alcyon) by the creek fairly regularly, but they are devilishly hard to photograph as they seem alarmed by a camera pointing in their direction. Do they see it as a giant eye? This one has been there regularly the last few days and is less camera shy than most. I like the first composition better, but the second shot is sharper (better light and faster lens).
I just discovered this Brewer’s blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus) nest adjacent to another place in neighboring Capitola where a walk once or twice a week. I hope to be able to follow progress through to fledging if the nest is a success.
Here are a couple of flowers on orchid plants that a friend gave us a few years ago and that my wife carefully tends. The front platform reminds me of a runway with guide lights.
Finally, a flower on a tree that I can’t identify, growing by our front gate. I like the blue sky background and translucent leaf.